CDC: Too Few Adults Getting Recommended Vaccines

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 07:28 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Vaccines aren't just for kids, and most American adults aren't getting their recommended vaccinations, federal health officials said Tuesday.
 
"In general, too few adults are taking advantage of the protection of vaccines, leaving themselves and those around them at greater risk of vaccine-preventable diseases," Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said during a news conference.
 
For example, Koh said, in 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, there were some 37,000 cases of preventable pneumococcal pneumonia that resulted in 4,000 deaths.
 
The majority of deaths occurred among adults 50 and older, and the highest rates were seen among those 65 years and older. Almost everyone who gets invasive pneumococcal disease needs treatment in the hospital, and that's why people 65 and older should be vaccinated, Koh said.
 
Dr. Carolyn Bridges, associate director for adult immunization at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Immunization Services Division, said the number of adults "getting their recommended vaccines is still too low, despite modest gains for Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) and HPV (human papillomavirus)."
 
For example, she said, about 62 percent of adults 65 and over have received the pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against sometimes life-threatening meningitis, pneumonia, and blood infections. As with most vaccines, most of those vaccinated are white, she noted, with blacks, Asians, and Hispanics lagging behind.
 
About 13 percent of adults reported getting a tetanus vaccination, which was a 4 percent increase since 2010, Bridges said. But "that's well below where we would like to see them," she added.
 
"We have initial data that over 9,300 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) have been seen in adults in 2012 and nearly 42,000 cases in total, and that's the highest number we've seen in this country in a single year since 1955," Koh said.
 
Through Jan. 5, there had been 18 deaths from whooping cough, most of which involved infants younger than 3 months, Koh said. Most of these babies got the disease from an adult in the home, he said.
 
Adults, especially those who are around children and pregnant women, should get a Tdap vaccination, Bridges said.
 
Only about 36 percent of U.S. adults at high risk for hepatitis B have been vaccinated, and only 13 percent have been vaccinated against hepatitis A, she said.
 
The number of women 19 to 26 who have been vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, which protects against cervical cancer and other diseases caused by the virus, has been increasing and is now at almost 30 percent, according to the report.
 
The CDC recommends that women get three doses of the HPV vaccine by the time they're 26, Bridges said. "Ideally, this vaccine should be given during adolescence," she said.
 
The last recommended adult vaccine is the herpes zoster vaccine, which protects people from shingles, caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. In 2011, almost 16 percent of adults 60 and older reported getting the vaccine, which was about the same as in 2010, Bridges said.
 
Koh said that under the Affordable Care Act, people who enroll in health plans after 2010 can get vaccinations with no co-payments or deductibles.
To increase the number of adults getting vaccinated, the CDC recommends that doctors keep track of a patient's vaccinations and make it a routine part of a checkup.
 
The vaccines findings were published Jan. 29 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
 
Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said, "We have emerging diseases out there some of them are recurrent, like whooping cough and HPV, and they're epidemics."
 
The low vaccination rates against these diseases is proof that many people don't understand basic facts about vaccines, he said. First, you can't get the disease from the vaccine. Also, there are myths that vaccinations can cause harm, he added.
 
"The reason to get a vaccine is herd immunity," Siegel said. Vaccinations not only protect the person who is vaccinated, but as more people are vaccinated it decreases the amount of circulating germs, he said.
 
Siegel said both smallpox and polio were eradicated by vaccinations.

© HealthDay

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

US Missionary Doctor in Liberia Contracts Ebola

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 17:33 PM

An American doctor working in Liberia has tested positive for the Ebola virus after working with obstetrics patients at  . . .

Double Mastectomy Doesn't Boost Breast Cancer Survival

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 17:25 PM

Removing both breasts to treat cancer affecting only one side doesn't boost survival chances for most women, compared wi . . .

Ebola 'Spiraling Out of Control': CDC Chief

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 15:14 PM

The CDC director says that the Ebola outbreak is spiraling out of control and is likely to get worse. . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved